Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis Jackson, from Macon, MS. Thomas gently chides his wife for feeling jealous of the attention he receives from some female friends, and reassures her of his love. He describes how he taught a few young ladies to make cigaritas, and that they asked several questions about Lucy and the couple’s courtship before they were married.
Macon, Feby 2. 1864.
I’ll have a race to finish this in time for today’s mail – but my love is strong and can accomplish much – I received your delightful letter yesterday –
I know you must have returned home Saturday – The whisperings of my love rarely deceive me – I am rejoiced to find you in such fine spirits, & ever so glad to know you are cheerful & happy –
Oh! I am so happy in my little wife – she’s the dearest, the sweetest, & the best in the world – How could you, my Love, imagine I intended a “cut at you”, about the gloves? I never dreamed such a thing –
Miss Edith was knitting a pair for Captain Longborough – said she was very fond of knitting – would like to knit gloves for all the soldiers, & would knit a pair for me if she could get the wool – I thought it mighty kind in her, & told you of it, as I tell you everything else – Ah you dear little sensitive thing! Your apprehension is too quick and does me injustice – Don’t you laugh at “Sis Susan’s” comments on your neglect to invite her to our wedding anymore –
I called to see the young ladies last night according to promise, & proceeded to teach Miss Edith the art of rolling cigaritas – we soon converted the parlor into cigar shop, & were progressing finely when somebody knocked at the door – the girls seemed quite put out – Edith declared she wanted me all to herself, I had come to see her, & Kate must entertain the visitors – Kate vowed she wouldn’t – “Pink” was the oldest & must entertain them, she wanted to talk to Maj Jackson – it was quite amusing – I felt flattered of course – A married man like me preferred to young beaux – I stayed til after the departure of the young gentlemen, & enjoyed a delightful visit – The girls asked a thousand questions – wanted to know what I called you, & if I kissed you before we were married – I told them I called you Pidgeon, [???] &c – & asked Kate what she would think of a man she was engaged to, if he did not offer to kiss her before they were married – she said she’d “kiss him” – Edith said she “wouldn’t” – When Kate remarked, but “Pink you have kissed somebody” – Of course Pink denied the charge – Tell my sweet little sister, that what I have to tell her is of no consequence – she must not be impudent – I would not repay the most ordinary cu-
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riosity – Tell Uncle John to let you keep my shoes until I come which I hope will be in 7 or 8- Give my love to all including Miss Katie & your gentle friend & believe me as ever your fond & loving husband
Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.
Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.